What Documents Do I Need to Rent a House?

What Documents Do I Need to Rent a House?
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Before you can sign a rental contract and move into a house, your landlord must first approve your rental application. At a minimum, you'll need to provide pay stubs along with your rental application. Depending on your landlord's policies, you may also need to bring your W-2 and bank statements. Also be prepared to provide your Social Security number, driver's license number, financial account information, work history and rental history.


Proof of Income

Your potential landlord will want verification that you have a steady income to cover rent. At a minimum, be prepared to provide your two most recent pay stubs. You may also want to bring a copy of your most recent W-2.

Be prepared to list your employment history and provide contact information for past and current employers. Landlords sometimes contact a potential tenant's place of work to verify employment status. If you don't want your landlord calling your work, Financial Samurai suggests obtaining a verification letter ahead of time from your human resources representative.


Asset and Liability Information

Standard rental applications require you to detail the amount and type of assets that you hold. Be prepared to list of all of your savings and checking accounts and indicate the current balance in each account. You'll typically also be required to list what financial obligations you have, like outstanding student loans, credit card balances and car loans.

Your landlord may not require that you show bank statements, but you may want to bring them anyway. It verifies that you're telling the truth, which will put your landlord at ease.


Personal Information

Before approving your application, some landlords may want to run a background check and a credit check. Your landlord will ask your full name, address, Social Security number and driver's license number. If you don't know this information by heart, it's wise to have your Social Security card and driver's license handy.

Rental History

Landlords feel more comfortable approving your application if they know you've been a good tenant in the past. ApartmentRatings.com notes that many landlords will require contact information for all the landlords from your past three rentals or from the last five years.


To strengthen your application, consider providing letters of recommendation from previous landlords and references from your professional contacts.